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Leave my job or stay? Leave, stay, leave, stay … help!

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in Your Office Coach

Q: “I'm having trouble deciding whether to change jobs. For a number of years, I have worked for a small local company. I can walk to work and go home for lunch, which is a great lifestyle benefit. The pay is fair, but there is no room for advancement, and the business owners are greedy, arrogant people.

“After looking for other opportunities, I have finally found a position that interests me. This job would provide a better compensation package and more career potential, but the downside is that I would have to travel 30% of the time.

“I'm hesitant about leaving my current job, but I also think a change might be healthy. My crystal ball just isn't working, so I would welcome any suggestions.”

A: Choosing between two alternatives with different benefits inevitably creates a psychological dilemma. Selecting one automatically means giving up the advantages of the other, so people often have a hard time with these choices. On a small scale, it's like deciding whether to have the creamy chocolate cake or the sensible fruit plate for dessert. Either way, you gain something and you lose something.

To help structure your decision-making, try this simple exercise. First, make a comprehensive list of all the factors important to you in a job, such as pay, interesting work, competent management, etc. Give added weight to any which are especially critical. For each position, rate these factors on a 1-to-5 scale, then compare the scores.

Viewing the ratings side-by-side should give you a better idea of how these two jobs stack up. Ultimately, however, you will need to take a leap of faith and choose the path that appears headed towards the most desirable future.

Looking for a new job when you still have the old one can be challenging. Here are some helpful suggestions: Tips for Job Hunting When You Have a Job.

© Marie G. McIntyre, All rights reserved.

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